Sleep Disturbance and Sleep-Related Impairment in Adults With Atopic Dermatitis: A Cross-sectional Study

Dermatitis. 2018 Sep-Oct;29(5):270-277. doi: 10.1097/DER.0000000000000401.


Background: Little is known about the impact of sleep disturbances (SD) or sleep-related impairment (SRI) in adults with AD or their relationship with severity of AD and itch and other predictors.

Objective: The aim of this study was to determine the relationship between AD severity, SD, and SRI.

Methods: We conducted a prospective online questionnaire-based study of 287 adults with AD, including assessment of AD severity by Patient-Oriented Eczema Measure, self-reported global AD severity, Self-Assessed Eczema Area and Severity Index and visual analog scale-itch, Patient-Reported Outcome Measurement Information System SD and SRI individual items, and T scores.

Results: Adults with AD commonly endorsed all SD and SRI symptoms examined; only 58 (21.8%) reported having good or very good sleep quality in the past week. However, only a minority of adults with AD endorsed a more profound impact from these individual aspects of SD and SRI in the past week or Patient-Reported Outcome Measurement Information System T scores greater than 55. In particular, SD and SRI were associated with severe or very severe AD (Patient-Oriented Eczema Measure, self-reported severity, visual analog scale-itch, and/or Self-Assessed Eczema Area and Severity Index). Sleep-related impairment was also associated with comorbid hay fever and/or anxiety.

Conclusions: This study suggests that SD and SRI are common in adults with AD, particularly those with severe diseases. Sleep disturbances and SRI should be considered when assessing burden of AD and therapeutic decisions.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / complications*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / etiology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult